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Just out of curiosity (kids mentioned) Just out of curiosity (kids mentioned)

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Unread 07-07-2009, 06:48 PM
Just out of curiosity (kids mentioned)

What have you ladies told your kids? I have a 12 year old and a 15 year old with ALOT of questions........
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Unread 07-07-2009, 07:46 PM
Re: Just out of curiosity

Hi Mandy,
My sons are 15, 13 and 10. I told them about the surgery in a basic way and answered any questions they asked, which went on for weeks. Middle son read the graphic details on the surgeon's consent forms, which were close to TMI for me. He had no comments or questions so heaven knows what he made of them. The other 2 didn't want that detail and I didn't foist it upon them.

I talked to my boys in much more detail about what the surgery meant for them and for me - hospital stay, how their routine would be managed while I was in there and while I recovered, how I would feel after, not being able to lift anything or drive, feeling tired, needing lots of help from them etc. I asked them what they thought they could do and what they wanted help with. 10 yr old decided to walk home from school on his own for example, which I would not have asked of him, but I think he has really enjoyed this independence.

They wanted to know WHY I needed the surgery, which was tricky as most of the reason is to do with the delivery of the firstborn. Quite confronting for a 15 yr old boy to hear from his mother she would do it again in order to have him here safely.

It wasn't always easy, but it has been positive for my sons (and my husband) to go through this with me. The boys began to refer to the process as my 'de-uterization' and the youngest drew a great picture of himself in my womb anxiously checking the walls. They have been invaluable during my recovery and I'm sure that is because of all this preparation.

It is winter school holidays here and they are home with me - loud and rough and messy and I'm pretty sure I need more paracetamol with their company, but they also replenish my hot water bottle regularly, make treats like freshly squeezed orange juice, change DVDs for me, set off in search of lost books, socks, etc. The questions don't stop when you leave home for the surgery, by the way.

I wonder how differently I'd have done this if I'd had 1 or more daughters? A close friend commented that it had led to some interesting conversations with her 13 yr old girl who knows my sons well. Good luck with your kids!
Unread 07-08-2009, 12:05 PM
Re: Just out of curiosity (kids mentioned)

For some reason my kids didn't ask too many questions. Children can be so self-absorbed. I have a 12, 13, and one home from college for the summer (19). I briefly explained I wasn't feeling well and would need to have surgery and go in the hospital to help me feel better. I told my 19 yr old (a girl) exactly what I was having done and told her to look it up on the internet. She didn't. My husband had a talk with her when I was about three days post-op and she was in shock. Why, I don't know. I had already explained it to her and she told me "isn't that something a lot of women have? What's the big deal?" It was more important for me to explain to my kids how their lives would be affected. Six weeks of me doing absolutely nothing, daddy learning to cook, chores increasing for each of them, and I won't be driving for awhile. At 5 weeks post-op I can say that all went well and as expected. My house is dusty, dinners have been weird and too "kid-friendly", and they are all blind when it comes to housekeeping. Week four I did start doing "little" things like dusting and my husband takes me to the grocery store and I just point. We have had some wonderful game nights and movie watching events, though. They just like being close. They didn't really want details. You know your children, tell them what they need to know and what you feel they can handle. Don't scare them, but keep it real.
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Unread 07-08-2009, 01:13 PM
Re: Just out of curiosity (kids mentioned)

Hi, My kids are 13 and 16. Their questions ran the gamet from who is going to drive me to the mall to are you going to die? I told them the basics about the procedure and recovery. More questions have come up since I've been home. Honestly, they have been great! Helping around the house, playing board games with me, and being quiet while I'm napping. I think the kids just want to know that mom while be all right even though things will be different for awhile.
Unread 07-08-2009, 02:28 PM
Re: Just out of curiosity (kids mentioned)

My kids (boys) are 10 and 5. Obviously at 5, he can only understand so much. He knows I have something "bad" in my tummy, the doctor is going to cut me open and take it out. He's scared more of the thought I'll have to have a "shot" (needles).

I've explained to both of them how they will need to help out more and be more independent - and try their hardest not to fight.

My 10 year old has been told everything in detail. He even went to my last ultrasound with me. I agree kids should be told only what they can handle and no one know what that is better than you! I do believe though that it can't be sugar coated either. There are risks and those can't be completely ignored.

I would say be honest and trust your instincts!

Good Luck!
Unread 07-08-2009, 04:05 PM
Re: Just out of curiosity (kids mentioned)

My daughter was 7 , I told her my baby making organs were sick and had to come out. I told her they were gonna have to cut my stomach to get them out but they were gonna stich me up real good and i would have to heal for a few weeks but then i would be so much healthier and able to do all the things i want to with her now. I let her know i was gonna hurt after and need a lil help from her , that she could be my big helper so heal faster. she was scared but great about it all. good luck !
Unread 07-08-2009, 07:45 PM
Re: Just out of curiosity (kids mentioned)

Hi Mandy

I have always tried to be completely open with my kids about things, so I told them as much as they could stand to hear.

My three kids were between 13 and 16 when I had my surgery. All three of them wanted to know if I would die, but only my daughter wanted to know anything about the surgery itself. She read some of the booklets I brought home and the free booklet from HysterSisters. My sons didn't want to know anything once the word "uterus" came into the conversation. However, I did leave a fairly bland booklet on the table for a few days, and I know that they looked at it on their own time.

I probably spent more time preparing them to see me in the hospital with the tubes and machines than I did on the surgery itself.

Unread 07-10-2009, 10:16 PM
Re: Just out of curiosity (kids mentioned)

Thanks for the reply ladies. It went over as best as it could. My only problem was my youngest (12) yr old. She had some issues with the hospital when I had went in June (sis had been in the week before w/ kidney infection).
Surgery was July 8th. They both couldn't wait to hug me when they saw me. Even my niece and nephew came by w/ flowers and a home made card.
I really think it helped that I'm home now(july 10th) I was so excited to be home and not to worry them much more. Now it's pamper time, and they are loving it.
Unread 07-10-2009, 10:50 PM
Re: Just out of curiosity (kids mentioned)

It's good to know you are back and in one piece Mandy.
Take care of yourself now!
Unread 07-10-2009, 11:13 PM
Re: Just out of curiosity (kids mentioned)

I have one son, 11. DH and I didn't hide our conversations about surgery, the planning, some of the "how-to's" of disability, post-op, etc. His initial reaction was of fear and anger, wanting to threaten the doctor if he hurt me.

So we talked. I reassured him that, for me, this was better than my monthly "hurty tummy" time, that I was asking the doctor to do this to me, and that I was going to need his help during my recovery. It helped him to have a task after surgery. But then, when he didn't have questions, I didn't offer more information. I didn't want to overwhelm him.

Invite questions, answer honestly using proper medical terminology and simple language, and stop when they stop asking questions.


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